Read our latest announcement.
Unitarian Universalist Society of Mill Creek
We are a community that invites you to awaken to love.
Sunday Worship Service
September 26th, 2021
(note the time)
In-person on the South Lawn of the Church
Join us this Sunday for Rev. Greg’s homily:
“beauty in the fall”
Join Us In-Person
If you plan to attend in person, please respect the requests for social distancing, mask-wearing (N95 masks, available at the church), and vaccination.
Please, too, offer your grace to all who arrive and respect their desires for safety.
Connect With Us Virtually
There are several ways to get the Zoom link for livestreaming the service:
* Click the link below (Sunday Morning Live!) and bookmark it; OR
* Access the church calendar (https://www.uusmc.org/news/calendar/) (https://www.uusmc.org/news/calendar/); OR
* Open our Sunday morning email; OR
* Open ANY PREVIOUS Sunday morning email
However you connect with us for livestreaming:
**THE LINK FOR SUNDAY SERVICE REMAINS THE SAME FROM WEEK TO WEEK**
Sunday Morning Live! (https://zoom.us/j/97806427419)
IN THIS ISSUE
Click on any topic of interest to jump to that particular announcement. Or, continue scrolling so you don’t miss anything!
** Congregational Life
** Upcoming events, meetings and news to know
** Sunday Morning Adult Religious Exploration
This Sunday we continue our ‘pre-service’ Adult Religious Exploration offerings as we integrate our themes with those of the worship, as well as children’s and youth religious education programming this fall. We will use the Soul Matters themes to plumb the depths of our spirits. This month, we will look at the theme of Embracing Possibility. In these strange and disrupting times, how do we renew our spirits by looking beyond what is now considered the former (i.e., pre-pandemic) normal? Let the explorations begin!
How to Get the Zoom Link
* Click the link below**, OR
* Open the Sunday morning email which will contain the same link
* Access the church calendar (https://www.uusmc.org/news/calendar/)
This is a drop-in class to be held on Sunday mornings 9:00-9:50 as a hybrid workshop with rotating facilitators. There is no need to register for these sessions. Come when you can, as often as you can. The discussions are always good, and who knows what you may hear or what these conversations may evoke. We look forward to being with you, even virtually. You make our hearts sing!
**Note that the link for Sunday Morning ARE remains the same from week to week.
Adult RE Zoom Link (https://zoom.us/j/96314512455)
** Saturday Evening Campfires Continue
Spring is beautiful, and summer is perfect for vacations, but autumn brings a longing to get away from the unreal things of life, out into the forest at night with a campfire and the rustling leaves.
-Margaret Elizabeth Sangster
We’ve held a Saturday evening campfire on church grounds most every weekend throughout the warm summer months. If a summer campfire isn’t your thing, why not join us now that the seasons are changing, the evening weather cools down a bit, and we enjoy our first campfire of the autumn season.
We continue to hold a campfire in the Memorial Grove every Saturday evening (unless otherwise noted, and weather permitting). We gather around 7:30-ish. Bring all your comforts (lawn or camp chair, blanket, refreshment, etc.) and feel free to bring along your family, friends, and neighbors of all ages!
All of our campfire events are open to everyone!! The Memorial Grove is to the left of the main (back) parking lot as you drive in. (Note: there is a slight grassy incline leading up to the area.) Please be aware that the church building will be closed except for restroom use (by one person or family at a time). Contact Jamie Kegerise (mailto:email@example.com) or the church office (mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org) (302-369-2712) with questions.
** COVID, Delta, Mu & UU’s
The Board of Trustees and your Minister continue to monitor COVID data and information regarding variants as we continue to discern safe, inclusive ways of being a community.
COVID transmission rates in our area remain very high, and so our safety protocols tend to be a bit more restrictive than you may be used to in your day-to-day life. So if you plan to attend in person, please respect the requests for social distancing, mask-wearing, and vaccination.
Our primary data source is a site called Covid Act Now (covidactnow.org). This is a joint project that collects and disseminates COVID-19 stats in the United States, broken down by state and county, and is institutionally supported by Georgetown University, Stanford University Medicine, and the Harvard Global Health Institute.
With regard to our worship service the Board of Trustees has established the following thresholds using the daily new case rate for New Castle County. (We also monitor Chester County, PA and Cecil County, MD, as these can be considered part of our wider community. However, our primary focus is on New Castle County where both the physical church is located and where the majority of our congregation reside, work, and play.)
* Our current policy is to have indoor, in-person worship services when the Daily New Case rate falls below 15.
* We will continue to have outdoor worship services (weather permitting, of course) when the case rate is above 15 and below 61.
* In all cases, we will continue Live Streaming.
Each week, a decision will be made by Thursday morning as to whether the coming Sunday worship service will be outdoor, indoor, or live stream only.
Please, please, please continue to check the weekly email for the most up-to-date information.
As of Thursday, September 23, the Daily New Case rate in New Castle County is
** A note about vaccination…
* We strongly encourage all people who are eligible for COVID-19 vaccination to get vaccinated.
* We do recognize that some in our community are not able to be vaccinated for medical or are otherwise ineligible. This fact alone should encourage those who are eligible to seek vaccination. The more of us who are vaccinated, the more difficult it is for the virus to be transmitted and the more protection we can offer those who cannot be vaccinated.
* If for whatever reason, you are not vaccinated, we ask that you consider not attending our in-person worship, and join us via the Livestream.
** A word about mask requirements…
Masks and Distancing Make a Difference
Our ability to have in person services depends on wearing masks and distancing. We know that the new, more transmissible, variants are making vaccinations less effective and that you can spread the virus even if you are vaccinated. The vast majority of new infections come from contact with the unvaccinated. The current surge of new cases is predominantly among the unvaccinated.
The kind of masks make a big difference. Homemade cloth masks are 20% effective. The surgical masks, which seem to be the most common, are 40% effective. N-95 masks are 95% effective. Wearing N-95 masks allows us to have in person activities at higher new case rates. But they are not 100% effective. That is why distancing is still important. So, when one of our church activities call for an N-95 mask, please wear one. If you need an N-95 mask, just ask, they are available at church.
** A request regarding contact tracing…
Please let us know if you attend in-person events at Mill Creek and subsequently test positive for COVID.
So that we may do all we can to help our community, we are requesting that you report any COVID infections or positive tests subsequent to attending any group event at the church (e.g. worship service, campfire, etc.).
Please contact either Rev. Greg (email@example.com (mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org) ) or Debra Damiani (email@example.com (mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org) ).
Any personal information provided (name, membership status, etc.) will be kept strictly confidential.
** Considerations for Safe Return
The Board of Trustees, Minister and Staff are in constant communication regarding the current status of the new Covid case rates in our area and how it affects our operations and ministry. We have prepared a document for your review detailing our considerations for safe return which highlights topics such as Opening, Vaccinations, Masks & Distancing, and more. You can read the document in full HERE. (https://www.uusmc.org/wp-content/uploads/COVID-Considerations-for-safe-return.pdf)
** Sabbatical Planning Underway
As is common practice in Ministry, Rev. Greg will be taking a sabbatical from January 1, 2022 until June 30, 2022. Per his employment contract, Greg has earned 1 month for every year of service and actually his upcoming leave is a bit late – yes, he’s been with Mill Creek more than 7 years already!
This will be a time for Rev. Greg to rest, renew, and reflect. At the same time, the congregation has an opportunity to hear new and different voices in the pulpit and to be reminded of the specialness of our community, both with Rev. Greg and while he is away.
A sabbatical team has been formed (Mary Pat Knauss, Stephen Petersen, and Steve Selph) to help plan and coordinate activities during his absence with the goal of continuing worship service and other normal church functions uninterrupted. Details will be worked out in the coming months and will be communicated more fully as the time approaches.
The congregation went through a similar time when Reverend Nancy Dean took a sabbatical during her time with us years ago. It is the expectation that this sabbatical will go as smoothly as it did with Rev. Nancy Dean.
** Adult Religious Exploration (ARE) Offerings Still Available – reserve your spot while you still can!
Here are the two remaining ARE offerings:
Listening to Our Lives
This class is designed for those who wish to engage seriously and open-heartedly with the perennial religious topics such as: inspiration, God, community, suffering, death, spiritual practice, living our gifts, and salvation. Rev. Greg will lead the group meeting on Sundays from 12 noon – 2 pm on the following dates:
October 17, 24, 31
November 14, 21
December 5, 12, 19
Enrollment is limited to a minimum of 8, maximum of 12 participants who commit to attending all nine sessions.
Use the buttons below to register or if you have questions:
REGISTER here (https://onrealm.org/MillCreek/PublicRegistrations/Event?linkString=YWM1MDAzMTEtNjk5Mi00YmRkLTk3YzEtYWQ3NTAxMzhhNTNk)
QUESTIONS here (mailto:email@example.com?subject=Adult%20RE)
Couples Retreat – New This Year!
Whether you are a new couple or have been walking together for many years, to be in a close relationship can be empowering and energizing. Yet, sometimes it can also be stressful. We can get lost in the day to day activities of our lives and the wonderings about our futures. Our connection to our chosen partner can loosen.
Join us for a Couples Retreat where we will explore both the strengths and the growth areas of our closest relationship. Prior to the retreat, participants will each take an online assessment of their relationship, the results of which will frame our work together. In both groups and one-on-one exercises, we will engage in conversations about our expectations, roles, and communication styles. We’ll look at how we deal with stress, how we deal with conflict, and how we deal with joy – together.
The retreat will be led by Rev. Greg on Saturday, October 23 from 8:30 am – 4:30 pm, and will include a box lunch. Registration is required and limited to (10) couples. There is a fee of $60 (per couple) that covers the cost of the online assessment and lunch.
Use the buttons below to register or if you have questions:
REGISTER here (https://onrealm.org/MillCreek/PublicRegistrations/Event?linkString=YTM3OGMwZjItNDA5NC00N2YyLTllYzAtYWQ3NTAxM2JlZTA0)
QUESTIONS here (mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org?subject=Adult%20Religious%20Exploration)
** UUDAN Monthly Meeting
Unitarian Universalists Delaware Advocacy Network
Next meeting: Sunday, Sept. 26, 4 pm on Zoom
UUDAN, the Unitarian Universalist Delaware Advocacy Network, brings together the five Delaware UU congregations to engage in local legislative action. Their mission is to inform, recruit and mobilize UU advocates to work, in partnership with other advocacy organizations, for the many social justice issues in the state of Delaware.
To find out what is happening in the current Delaware legislative session and how you can be involved, join their upcoming Steering Committee Meeting on Sunday, September 26 at 4 pm on Zoom. Use the buttons below to receive the Zoom link, or contact Mill Creek member Jack Guerin with any questions about the meeting, or UUDAN in general.
Get the Zoom link HERE (https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSc3QqOoIunbfvlbloQfrqZqh_j2qxdWAOe91HYLvJbir6MU3w/viewform)
Ask your questions HERE (mailto:email@example.com?subject=UUDAN)
** Mill Creek New UU Class Series
We are offering a three-part series of virtual classes designed to introduce visitors, friends, and even current members who might be interested in learning more about the UU faith and the Mill Creek congregation. Attendance is expected for all three sessions. Use the link below to attend, or access it on the church calendar (https://www.uusmc.org/news/calendar/) . All are welcome!
Introduction to UUism: Tuesday, October 19^th, 6:30-8:30 pm
Part 1 of 3. Rev. Greg will lead a session on the history, theologies, and polity of Unitarian Universalism.
Attend the class HERE (https://uuma.zoom.us/j/3909823196)
Intro to Mill Creek: Tuesday, October 26^th, 6:30-8:30 pm
Part 2 of 3. Rev. Greg leads a conversation about the Values, Beliefs, and Mission of Mill Creek with the intention of helping new folks get to know who we are as a religious community.
The Meaning of Membership: Tuesday, November 2nd, 6:30-8:30 pm
Part 3 of 3. This session is a conversation about what it means to be a member of Mill Creek. It will provide information and establish our shared expectations for membership.
** Hurricane Ida Relief Efforts Continue in Wilmington: Ways You Can Help
The aftermath of Hurricane Ida resulted in record floods in Wilmington, Delaware, displacing more than 200 people. The flooding hit the city’s Riverside and 11th Street Bridge neighborhoods the hardest – largely the city’s Black neighborhoods. Recovery efforts are still ongoing and there are several ways to volunteer or contribute to assist those individuals and families displaced by the floods.
Driven by a mission to empower and mobilize all Delawareans to volunteer and serve in their communities.
The goal of the State Office of Volunteerism, or Volunteer Delaware, is to help strengthen communities statewide through the promotion of volunteer opportunities, community support, and networking opportunities. Over 900 community agencies are currently registered on the Volunteer Delaware website offering a comprehensive array of community service opportunities to over 14,000 registered volunteers.
Suzanne Farris, Volunteer Services Administrator
Or explore on your own using the links found below.
Learn more about Volunteer Delaware HERE (https://volunteer.delaware.gov/)
Ways to Volunteer (https://volunteer.delaware.gov/volunteers-ways-to-volunteer)
Committed to changing lives and landscapes by revitalizing neighborhoods and empowering the families we serve.
Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County is an independently chartered affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International https://www.habitat.org/ , the largest not-for-profit builder in the world. They are committed to changing lives and landscapes by revitalizing neighborhoods and empowering the families they serve.
1920 Hutton Street
Wilmington, DE 19802
Volunteer inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org (mailto:email@example.com)
LEARN MORE about Habitat for Humanity HERE (https://www.habitatncc.org/)
DONATE to Habitat for Humanity here (https://interland3.donorperfect.net/weblink/weblink.aspx?name=habitatncc&id=48)
Cooperation, communication, coordination, and collaboration.
Delaware Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster is an affiliate of National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD (https://www.nvoad.org/) ). National VOAD, an association of organizations that mitigate and alleviate the impact of disasters, provides a forum of support, and fosters more effective delivery of services to communities affected by disaster.
The membership of Delaware VOAD consists of both locally based organizations and local representatives of National organizations. Our mission is to strengthen the capabilities of organizations working together in our State/Territory to respond to communities affected by disaster. Delaware VOAD member organizations cover a broad range of missions and technical expertise.
Use these links to find out more:
How to Help (https://www.devoad.org/how-to-help/)
Contact DEVOAD here (https://www.devoad.org/contact-us/ )
Donate to DEVOAD here (https://www.paypal.com/us/fundraiser/charity/2410971)
** Mill Creek Book Groups
We are pleased to announce the formation of a new book group:
Wednesday, September 29, 3-4 pm
Schedule: monthly on last Wednesday afternoons
Location: Higgins residence in Oxford, Pennsylvania — outdoors
Selection: Jefferson’s Sons, A founding father’s secret children (https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/306277/jeffersons-sons-by-kimberly-brubaker-bradley/) by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
These meetings will continue outdoors for the time being, then resume on Zoom when the weather no longer cooperates. For questions and location information, contact Mary Higgins using the button below.
Click HERE for more information (mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org?subject=book%20group)
Here is information about our current and long-running book group:
Next meeting: Tuesday, November 2nd, 7:00 pm
Schedule: every other month on first Tuesday evenings
Location: meets virtually on Zoom
Selection: Hamnet (https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/612385/hamnet-by-maggie-ofarrell/) by Maggie O’Farrell
Questions: contact Deanna Koepcke (mailto:email@example.com?subject=book%20group)
The Zoom link can be found below or by accessing the church calendar (https://www.uusmc.org/news/calendar/) (https://www.uusmc.org/news/calendar/). The Zoom link remains the same for each meeting.
JOIN this meeting HERE (https://zoom.us/j/96762479752)
** Meadow & Grounds Spotlight:
8 DOWN, 17 TO GO
Prep work is underway in advance of Tree Planting Days:
Saturday & Sunday, October 23rd and 24th!
Earlier this year, through the efforts of Jamie Kegerise and Amy White, a grant was applied for and awarded from the State of Delaware’s Urban and Community Forestry Program. The $1500 matching grant is for the purchase of 25 native trees of a variety of species. While the grant covers the cost of the trees and materials, the labor involved with planting the trees is our responsibility. We have selected October 23^rd and 24^th as tree planting days.
We are doing prep work by digging all 25 holes during our weekly Wednesday gatherings on church grounds from now until early October. Doing this work ahead of time will make the actual tree planting process go much easier. If you own a shovel and like to dig, join us any Wednesday! We gather around 5:30-ish.
We’ve dug 8 holes so far, with 17 remaining.
Don’t want to dig? You’re still welcome to come out and see us, check out the work we’re doing and who knows … you might be inspired to help by pulling a few weeds! There is always a need for light gardening tasks in and around the church property.
Contact Jamie Kegerise (mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org) or Amy White (mailto:email@example.com) with any questions you have about this project.
For in the true nature of things, if we rightly consider, every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and silver.
-Martin Luther King, Jr.
** Share Our Plate: September & October
We regularly donate a portion of our undesignated plate collection to a local charity or non-profit organization. Although we aren’t meeting in person for Sunday services for the time being, contributions are still being received to support this fund and are donated entirely to the selected recipient.
For the months of September and October, we have selected Bellevue Art Lab. Located in the Bellevue Community Center in North Wilmington, Bellevue Art Lab is a place for growing artists of many ages and skill levels. It is an open studio setting which allows for exploration rather than strict instruction. The Lab is stocked with drawing, painting, and sculpting supplies as well as digital art, and is set up for jewelry making and metalworks. The Art Lab is a free open studio for youth ages 13-19 during after school hours, Monday-Friday, 3-6 pm. They offer private paint parties, host professional workshops and artist talks, design community art installations, and participate in the Wilmington Art Loop on the First Friday of every month. The Arts is an important way to engage the youth as well as foster bonds between artists and community members.
Use the links below to learn more, and to donate.
LEARN MORE about Bellevue Art Lab (https://bellevuecc.org/art)
DONATE to Share Our Plate (https://onrealm.org/MillCreek/-/give/now)
**Be sure to select ‘Share Our Plate’ as the giving fund**
** Complicated Grief
Part of a series shared by
Rev. Bob Broesler
The Role of the Pastor or Friend in Helping the Bereaved
When someone we love is suffering, it is instinctual to want to help – to relieve the suffering. When the pain is physical, active intervention and treatment is essential and compassionate. In a way we find hard to accept, this is not true of people who are mourning. The healing process is a collaborative, companioning process between people. Wisdom and experience show that true expertise in grief lies with, and only with, the unique person who is grieving. Only they can be the expert of their grief. Our role, either as professional companion or friend, is to learn from the griever, and bear witness to and normalize their grief journey, all in an atmosphere of love and affirmation.
Rev. Broesler is a Grief Counselor and member of Mill Creek. Connect with him by using any of the links below:
As an outgrowth of the loss of my son Justin, I believe I have been called to provide counsel to people who are experiencing “difficult grief”, particularly but not exclusively the loss of a child. This also includes those unable to be physically present with their loved one while they died. Below is another in a series of insights which I believe will provide you with the language to be present for a friend in such situations. I hope they are helpful.
-The Rev. Robert (Bob) Broesler
CLICK HERE (https://onrealm.org/MillCreek/SignIn)
to access your Realm profile!
We encourage you to continue your financial support of Mill Creek during the closure by using one of the following methods:
1. Mail a check: 579 Polly Drummond Hill Road, Newark DE 19711 (staff is present in the office and the mailbox is checked daily). Please indicate on the subject line if this is a pledge payment, a general contribution, or a contribution to a specific giving fund.
2. Give electronically through REALM: https://onrealm.org/MillCreek/Give or use the link below (remember to select a giving fund).
3. Text-to-Give: text MillCreek and the amount [e.g. MillCreek 50] to 73256.
We sincerely appreciate your support of Mill Creek, especially now while we are unable to gather together for the time being. But the work of the church continues! We gratefully acknowledge that there would be no Mill Creek without YOU. Thank you.
**Click here to GIVE NOW** (https://onrealm.org/MillCreek/-/give/now)
Follow us on Instagram!
Mill Creek Staff office hours & contact information
Rev. Gregory S. Pelley
Hours by appointment – use the link below to schedule:
– Click here to schedule time with Rev. Greg – (https://calendly.com/gpelley)
Debra Damiani, Congregational Administrator
Monday 8 am to 1 pm, Monday-Thursday
Rachel Sabella, Music Director
Hours by Appointment
** Upcoming events in our local community
** Delaware Pride Festival
After being cancelled in 2020 and shifted from June to October this year, the Delaware Pride Event is back!
The Delaware Pride Festival is the single largest LGBTA gathering in Delaware, giving the community needed exposure, recognition, and acceptance. Our goal is to promote platforms for expressing diversity and creating a more visible and united LGBTA community.
* Saturday, October 2^nd
* Legislative Mall, Dover (https://dfm.delaware.gov/capcomplex/index.shtml) (outdoors)
* 10 am to 5 pm
* FREE admission
* FREE parking
* Welcoming and open to ALL
* Family friendly
* Kid Zone
* Blessing Booth
* Information & resources
* Food & beverages available for sale (Grotto Pizza, Race to Taste Curbside Grill, Beer Garden, and MORE!)
Unitarian Universalists of Central Delaware (UUCD (http://uucd.org/) ) will have two booths this year, stop by and say hello!
Use the links below to learn more about the festival, or contact Delaware Pride with questions.
Learn More! (http://www.delawarepride.org/events/?id=1909287)
Check it out on Facebook! (https://www.facebook.com/events/2461914520734112)
Questions? Click here! (mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org)
** UUFN Hosts Peace Week Event
Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in China, Asian American Pacific Islanders (AAPI) have been the focus of public attention—much of it hostile—and it is time to confront its aftermath in our very own state. Reluctance in the AAPI community to draw attention to itself and speak out has led to further interracial misunderstandings. Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Newark (UUFN) is sponsoring Breaking the Silence: Asian-American Pacific Islanders in Delaware, a panel of speakers from various walks of life who will share their stories in order to foster greater understanding and compassion for their experiences as Asian Americans in Delaware. This virtual event will be held on Sunday, October 3, 2021, 4:00-6:00 pm. Use the link below to register.
REGISTER for this event HERE (https://www.eventbrite.com/e/breaking-the-silence-asian-american-pacific-islanders-in-delaware-tickets-165203029709?aff=efbeventtix&fbclid=IwAR0QtM6uC5X-BiFYvfG8Db8rUNVq0deY7LRheQx5o-RY2pqOdEOqFLQkSb0)
** News from the UUA, the Central East Region, and the Delmarva Cluster
** Educating Unitarian Universalists about class awareness and inclusion.
UU Class Conversations helps congregations and organizations better understand the strengths and challenges of class differences and of each class background. In workshops and through other learning opportunities, participants develop language, concepts, and strategies to bridge class differences and issues, while considering the intersection between class and race and other issues of oppression.
Use the links below to learn more about the work they do, and to access their latest bulletin featuring information about current topics of interest and an upcoming virtual workshop.
Learn more about UU Class Conversations (https://www.uuclassconversations.org/about/what-we-do/)
Read the September UU Class Conversations bulletin (https://mailchi.mp/a497a42b6460/winter18-5112290?e=685e428753)
Opportunities for Connection: Central East Region Update
Opportunities for Connection – click here to learn more (http://uua874.activehosted.com/index.php?action=social&chash=e6acf4b0f69f6f6e60e9a815938aa1ff.5519&s=8983449a6b0e04757c2c9729fa49f044)
** Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/UUSMC)
** Website (http://www.uusmc.org)
** Instagram (http://instagram.com/millcreekuu)
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